1. Rich Bisaccia has some Raider fans living in the moment.
At last, a Daniel Carlson kick sealed a playoff berth for the Rich Bisaccia-led Raiders, but is it enough? They weren’t perfect, but they functioned as a complete NFL team. Bisaccia should get credit for that. But, with that being said, fans of the Silver and Black can’t become prisoners of the moment. Maybe Bisaccia is the next John Harbaugh, a veteran special teams coach who is a great leader of men. But with all the coaching vacancies going on, why has no one inquired about him? Yes, the team is still in contention, but the rumor mill is 24/7, and there is not one about him becoming a head coach for any other organization.
2. Derek Carr has been clutch but can Rich Bisaccia be trusted with determining who the offensive coordinator next season should be?
When the situation was bleak, Derek Carr delivered during each of the four consecutive victories to end the season. But, during these games, the offense was carried to the finish line by its special teams and defense. In the redzone, the Raiders ranked in the bottom third of efficiency with the Jaguars and Lions. Some may say that is complementary football, but the offense must do more to carry their weight moving forward. It remains to be seen whether or not the former special team coach would part ways with current offensive coordinator Greg Olson or go in a different and more explosive direction.
3. Can Rich Bisaccia attract free agents to the Raiders?
Free agents are always a hit-or-miss proposition for any NFL team. Without a doubt, it’s going to cost you more to get someone to come to play for a team led by Coach Bisaccia. The owner can cut the check; the GM can talk to the agent. But then, the impact players in free agency will want to both get paid and win. Moreover, they will want to know their role on the team. Rich may have difficulty with specific utilization on certain players, considering he has been a special teams coach his whole career. Free agents want to play with a proven winner, and while Bisaccia has done admirably this season – it is not a big enough picture to determine whether he is a consistent or effective NFL head coach just yet.
4. The Raiders’ opponents in 2022 will be a daunting task for any coach, let alone a new one.
The NFL is unpredictable — look at the schedule for the 10-7 playoff-bound Las Vegas Raiders this year. They beat good teams yet lost to some of the worst teams in the NFL. In 2022 here is the list of head coaches the Raiders will face:
- Andy Reid (2x)
- Kliff Kingsbury
- Kyle Shanahan
- Mike Tomlin
- Mike Vrabel
- Sean McVay
- Sean Payton
It is critical that the Raiders obtain a coach who can go head-to-head with the league’s best. The team plays hard for Bisaccia, but his passive game planning in critical situations is concerning.
4. Rich Bisaccia may still be collateral damage in the Raiders cleaning house.
When you look across the current NFL landscape, some tough decisions are being made. Some teams are opting to remove many critical parts of their front offices.
For example, the Chicago Bears fired head coach Matt Nagy and general manager Ryan Pace. On the other hand, the Jacksonville Jaguars fired Urban Meyer but have committed to retaining general manager Trent Baalke. While Jon Gruden’s resignation was purely based on off-field issues for the Raiders, it remains to be seen what Mark Davis wants to see change with the rest of his staff.
Subsequently, people will undoubtedly raise eyebrows when you draft the following players in the first round:
- Henry Ruggs III
- Damon Arnette
- Clelin Ferrell
- Alex Leatherwood
For general manager Mike Mayock, Bisaccia and numerous other coaches, they may see their judgement day based on that premise alone.
5. In the end, the Raiders deserve better.
Much was made over the 10 year $100 million contract that Jon Gruden signed with the Raiders in 2018. Some loved it, and some hated it. At the end of the day, it ended in poor drafts, no playoffs, and disgrace to the Raider brand. The only positive that came out of it was that the team got a reprieve. They have young foundational pieces littered throughout the roster and just made the playoffs. Rich Bisaccia did an excellent job keeping the team focused on the task at hand. However, he is not the long-term answer. The Silver and Black need a proven head coach this offseason.